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Poster: George Ho Date: Dec 2, 2011 1:19am
Forum: texts Subject: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

What are the current copyright statuses of all works of John Cheever published before 1978? Of all works, what about THE ENORMOUS RADIO?

THE SWIMMER along with some other contributions in the renewal registration is still copyrighted. Reg.#: RE0000605289

This post was modified by George Ho on 2011-12-02 08:58:44

This post was modified by George Ho on 2011-12-02 09:19:54

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Dec 2, 2011 6:35am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Best place to check is Stanford's copyright renewal database.

http://collections.stanford.edu/copyrightrenewals/bin/page?forward=home

For example put in Cheever's name, you can see the book "The Enormous radio, and other stories" was registered 6Apr53 and renewed 8Jan81 - still in copyright.

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Poster: George Ho Date: Dec 2, 2011 12:48pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

That was a collection of short stories. THE ENORMOUS RADIO, the short story itself, was published in a New Yorker issue. I could not find this story in the catalog.

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Dec 2, 2011 1:05pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

I'm assuming the anthology copyright includes the stories in the book. If your thinking not, might have to check with Cheever's estate or an attorney to verify. My thinking is, since Cheever is a famous author who generates a lot of revenue, it would be unusual to lapse into the public domain, though it happens.

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Poster: vargh Date: Dec 3, 2011 2:32pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Stanford's database, like all the complete searchable ones online, only has books. For periodicals and other works, the website to use is

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/renewals.html

From there, I found

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015085477209?urlappend=%3Bseq=488

which as you'd expect shows that all the New Yorker issues from 1947 had their copyright renewed, so I assume that makes "The Enormous Radio" copyright.

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Dec 3, 2011 4:59pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Thanks! Source noted for future reference.

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Poster: garthus Date: Dec 3, 2011 7:28am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

I see no copyright or renewal for Cheever.s story 'Buffalo'. Best thing to do is to create a listing of all of his works and start checking each one. Stuff that he may have published earlier in the New Yorker, most likely ...if they were copyrighted, were never renewed. You may find some material which was copyrighted later, for example when published in the short stories anthology, might never have been copyrighted when initially published. Therefore the original work will be in the public domain, while the anthology would still be copyrighted if it were renewed. Gets complicated. But something published in a magazine initially and never copyrighted is still in the Public Domain and can be posted. My take after looking in the Sanford database and on-line is that much of his stuff was not renewed if ever copyrighted (that is his earlier materials) since he only became famous later in his life.

Gerry

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Dec 3, 2011 8:59am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Gerry, good points.

I happen to own the complete New Yorker archive on DVD (scanned images) and I looked up "Enormous Radio" from 1947. There are no individual copyright notices for any of the individual articles, but there is a 1947 copyright notice at the front of the magazine, which says no portion of the magazine can by copied without permission. 1947 is of course expired, unless it's been renewed by the New Yorker or Cheever. Checking Stanford for 1947 there are no registrations, and checking for 1975 (28 years later, the renewal date), also nothing. I do see other authors who published works in the New Yorker who renewed their copyrights. It appears the Cheever texts are probably in the PD, if scanned from the original New Yorker issues, which themselves appear to be in the PD (the DVD archive I have says "All issues Copyright 2005", but that seems to be wishful thinking by The New Yorker).

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Poster: garthus Date: Dec 3, 2011 12:39pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Stbalbach,

Yes, that is why you can find Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey materials which are in the Public Domain. The music Corp's tried to copyright this stuff later by calling it 'remastered' (and yes, the remastered copy is under copyright). But, that still does not change the fact that the original is still in the Public Domain. I think if our corrupt and bought politicians would have understood what they were getting into they would have never passed the law in its current form. Of course they may try to change this retroactively, but if as many of us can post this stuff under the Creative Commons license as possible; they will not be able to change those items since they will have been created while the current law was still in effect. That is why the poster should just post the Cheever's stuff and then worry about the copyright status later, works can always be taken down when we find a clear copyright record. But once the human scum that inhabits our legislative bodies change the law, these materials will be lost to reasonable Public Access for a substantial period of time. My rule of thumb is that if you can find a copyright and/or timely renewal then do not post the item, but if the status is questionable, than by all means, post the item, if the copyright holder comes forward and can produce the record of a legitimate copyright or renewal, then the item can always be taken down. As long as the poster can show due diligence, there is no intent to violate copyright statutes. Everything which I have written is currently or will be posted under the Creative Commons license. I really do not understand this drive to restrict access to one's intellectual work, but that is the law which we have to function under...however, we are not under any moral or ethical imperative, to do the work of Cheever's estate to protect intellectual property of work which has legitimately fallen under the Public Domain. My guess is that nearly all of the materials published in Cheever's later Anthology are in the Public Domain in their original forms.

The Archive provides a legitimate venue for creating a legal record of the fact that these materials were copyrighted under the Creative Commons and thus establishing their Public Domain Status. Everyone posting to the Archive should understand this and accelerate the scanning and posting of these categories of works and Orphan works in particular. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_works ).

Creating an electronic version of an Orphan Work under the creative Commons may ultimately protect its Public Domain status if our corrupt elected officials decide to give Google or another large contributor to their campaigns, exclusive rights to those works. They have tried (unsuccessfully) recently to do that, but a more legitimate venue would be to move these works into the Public Domain until their status is decided. We however, by posting electronic versions of such works to the Archive can take the initiative and make such works available to the public.

Gerry



This post was modified by garthus on 2011-12-03 20:39:19

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Dec 3, 2011 7:30pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Hi Gerry, I agree. It's surprising there has not been more aggressive attempts to scan the 1923-1963 works. It's possible to show due diligence by checking the renewal records such as hosted by Stanford, to avoid litigation later on.

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Poster: garthus Date: Dec 3, 2011 8:16pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Pre-1978 works of John Cheever (1912-1982)

Most of the materials which I scanned were exclusively from 1923 to 1963. In fact I just moved and have donated most of the remaining part of my collection to the Archive. I still have several hundred items which I kept and will digitize myself.I think that we should be concentrating on the books from this time period as they are at great risk if the rules are changed.

Gerry